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Built on the foundation laid by Firecrest, offering unrivalled crosswind stability and the most aerodynamically efficient rim design on the market, the 303 NSW takes it all to the next level. Like its siblings, 404 NSW and 808 NSW, our top engineers in The Nest advanced development lab incorporated improved aerodynamics, industry leading braking performance, and reduced rolling friction to produce the lightest, highest performance 303 wheelset Zipp has ever made.
Light enough to fly up climbs, tough enough to excel in the cobbled classics, and with the industry's best available braking performance for the most technical descents, the 45mm deep 303 NSW is built for a singular purpose: To be fast, everywhere.
But the 303 NSW is no 'race day only' wheel to be tucked away in a wheel bag until a race number is pinned to the rider's jersey. It's built to take the abuse of everyday training rides. Zipp has achieved this reliability at a lighter weight with a revised carbon fiber layup developed through testing on the famed cobbles of the Forest of Arenberg with the world's fastest riders.
Because the toughest roads often experience the toughest weather conditions, we've included Zipp's Showstopper™ brake track for braking performance that delivers the best modulation and shortest stopping distances in wet and dry conditions. And we've improved aerodynamics with our ABLC Sawtooth™ technology and Impress™ graphics to produce a rim that is as fast as it is stealthy.
At the centre of the 303 NSW wheelset is our Cognition hubset. Built to provide the lowest rolling friction possible without compromising sealing, the hub's Swiss-made bearings work in tandem with our Axial Clutch™ technology to dramatically cut rolling friction when compared with conventional freehub systems. Bottom line: Cognition hubs make the 303 NSW fast, even when you aren't pedaling.
All of these technologies combine to build a wheelset that only NSW can produce, a wheel with unrivalled performance. Wherever the road may take you, get there faster on Zipp 303 NSW wheels.
Every time a conventional hubset starts to coast, friction within the freehub ratchet mechanism works like a drum brake to slow the rider down. With the Cognition hubset's Axial Clutch™ technology, we've reduced this drag by disengaging the ratchet mechanism when coasting. Our testing shows that the best traditional three-pawl hub designs have twice the rotating friction as our Axial Clutch equipped Cognition rear hub, and the most popular hubsets using a similar drive mechanism as Axial Clutch were found to produce four times the rotating friction.
With less internal hub drag a rider can pedal less when riding through rolling hills or drafting in a headwind. Or achieve higher speeds when coasting in an aero tuck, or opt to stop pedaling a moment sooner before entering a corner and bank that wattage for use exiting the corner. Axial Clutch technology also allows riders to maintain speed through corners that don't require braking input, thereby increasing corner exit speeds.
Inside the Axial Clutch mechanism we use magnets, rather than steel springs, to move and engage our light weight Metal injection Molded (MIM) ratchet rings for the most reliable and consistent operation possible. With 36 points of engagement that all interlock simultaneously, there isn't a more secure freehub mechanism on the market.
Our Axial Clutch freehub mechanism is also compatible with XDR drivers. This gives riders the option to select a 10-42 cassette to assemble a 1x11 drivetrain with an equivalent range to either a compact or standard road double drivetrain.
A star-flanged straight-pull hubshell design on the rear hub distributes the load placed on the hub angle away from the bearings. We’ve also developed a unique scalloped edge hubshell design for our front hub. This scalloped design maintains the bearing bore diameter when high radial spoke tension is applied. Both of these hubshell design elements ensure that bearings quietly stay in place, roll faster, last longer, and provide a laterally stiffer hub. About those bearings, we’ve chosen Swiss stainless steel bearings specially made to our specs to provide the longest lasting, lowest friction performance available.
We've employed Zipp's ImPress™ graphics technology, which prints graphics directly on the wheel, to help allow the dimples to do what they were designed to do - control vortex shedding, the rate at which air sheds off the wheel. Managing this is crucial to stability. Like the 404 and 808 NSW, ImPress graphics give the 303 NSW a distinctive stealthy look while keeping the rims as light as possible.
ABLC SAWTOOTH™ TECHNOLOGY
Our new Sawtooth dimple design consists of 12 nodes that are precisely clocked to start aerodynamic shearing at a rate of 50hz at a rider speed of 20mph. Sawtooth accomplishes this by inducing small sheet vortices that shed at a low magnitude, but at a higher natural frequency, thus decreasing the laminar bubble effect on the aerodynamically shielded side of the rim’s profile to further reduce high yaw drag and improve crosswind stability. That crosswind stability imparts peace of mind in gusty wind conditions while saving watts that would have been expended while attempting to hold your line.
When it comes to braking, “good for a carbon rim” wasn’t good enough for NSW. We wanted braking performance that was better than aluminium rims and any other carbon rim, and we’ve achieved that goal. Our industry leading silicon carbide Showstopper™ brake track delivers unmatched stopping power and modulation regardless of weather conditions or the length of the descent. With Showstopper™ braking performance, you’ll need to find another excuse not to ride on rainy days.
BORN OF SCIENCE. REALISED BY HAND.
Zipp 303 NSW was developed using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) post-processing software and months in the wind tunnel, including the Aerodynamic Bike Testing Facility at the ARC Wind Tunnel, a short drive from Zipp’s Indianapolis facility. We do this because, as one of our advanced development engineers, Dave Morse, is fond of saying, “The wind tunnel will never be replaced as the gut check for wheel design.” The advanced development engineers at The Nest took that data and created the rim shapes that became the 303 NSW.
All Zipp NSW rims are laid up, molded, drilled, and built in Indianapolis by Zipp technicians. Our expert wheel builders then hand lace the rims to our European-made Cognition hubset using Belgian Sapim CX-Ray spokes and Secure-Lock nipples to ensure precision alignment and even spoke tension.
Each Wheel Includes:
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I can't recommend this wheel enough, amazing ride, stiff, strong, durable, the hubs are magic as they have zero friction - plus it looks the business. Great carbon wheel that is a dream on smooth roads but can take punishment on any surface.